Copyright

Digastric Muscle: Definition, Function & Innervation Video

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Omohyoid Muscle: Function, Origin & Innervation

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 Digastric Muscle
  • 1:12 Function
  • 1:41 Innervation
  • 2:14 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dan Washmuth

Dan has taught college Nutrition, Anatomy, Physiology, and Sports Nutrition courses and has a master's degree in Dietetics & Nutrition.

The digastric muscle is a small muscle located in the neck, just below the lower jaw. In this lesson, learn about the definition, function, and innervation of the digastric muscle.

Digastric Muscle

Try this at home. Put your fingers in the front middle part of your neck about an inch below your lower jaw. Now swallow. Did you feel something in your neck move upward as you swallowed? Part of that movement upward was caused by the digastric muscle.

The digastric muscle is a small muscle located in the neck, just below the lower jaw. This muscle gets its name because it has two separate muscle bellies, an anterior belly and a posterior belly (di means two; gastric means belly). The two bellies that make up the digastric muscle are connected in the middle of the muscle by a tendon.


The digastric muscle is a small muscle located in the neck, just below the lower jaw.
digastric muscle


The anterior belly of the digastric muscle originates from the inner front part of the mandible (lower jaw) in an area called the digastric fossa. The posterior belly of the digastric muscle originates from the mastoid process, which is a cone-shaped bony prominence off of the temporal bone. The temporal bone is located at the lower sides of the skull, near the temples.

The middle of the digastric muscle, which is where a tendon connects the anterior and posterior bellies, attaches to the hyoid bone. The hyoid bone is a horseshoe-shaped bone in the front middle part of the neck located between the mandible and the larynx (voice box).

Function

There are two main functions of the digastric muscle: depression of the lower jaw and elevation of the hyoid bone. Since the anterior belly of the digastric muscle is connected to the inner front part of the mandible, this muscle can pull the mandible down, which depresses this bone, causing the mouth to open.

Since the middle tendon of the digastric muscle is connected to the hyoid bone, this muscle can pull the hyoid bone upward during a swallow. The elevation of the hyoid bone aids in the swallowing process by helping substances travel down the throat during a swallow.


The digastric muscle functions to elevate the hyoid bone, which can aid the swallowing process.
hyoid bone


Innervation

Innervation is the process in which electrical impulses from the brain are sent to the muscles of the body through a network of nerves. Each muscle in the body receives electrical impulses from the brain through a specific nerve or nerves.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support